ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 3, 2003
Mon, Nov. 03, 2003
[Nokulunga Fiphaza] No charges yet in cult case
The case against 15 alleged members of a notorious, now defunct Umtata cult
church was postponed in the Umtata District Court on Monday as the charges
they face were not yet properly formulated. Their arrest followed the
discovery of eight bodies buried in shallow graves in the church compound
earlier this year.
[Hate Groups : Scientology] More problems for Scientology in the Netherlands
Following the recent news of a 'mutiny' at the Amsterdam, Netherlands office
of Scientology, the cult - a commercial enterprise and a hate group
masquerading as a religion - is getting more bad press (and TV-coverage) in
the Netherlands. Amsterdam daily, Het Parool, today carries an article in
which former Scientology recruiter John Leemhuis explains why he has left
the organization and joined the ranks of other defectors who, while still
pursuing Scientology's 'tech', want nothing to do with the so-called
'Church' of Scientology.
[John Kilpatrick] Brownsville's spirit moves on; Kilpatrick answering a new
One of the spiritual leaders of a revival that rocked the Christian world
and put Pensacola on the religious map is stepping down from Brownsville
Assembly of God. John Kilpatrick, 53, plans to resign Feb. 22 as senior
pastor at Brownsville, 22 years and a day after he first entered the church.
He said he is leaving to answer God's call to write books, minister to other
pastors and spend time with his family.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Aum head's silence may seal fate
While prosecutors condemned Chizuo Matsumoto, founder of the Aum Supreme
Truth group, as the mastermind of a series of crimes committed by Aum
members in which a total of 27 people were killed, defense lawyers claimed
that Matsumoto's followers got out of hand in committing the crimes,
including the deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.
But Matsumoto's silence denied the defense team the information they needed
to build a convincing case in the final hearing of Matsumoto's trial, held
at the Tokyo District Court on Thursday and Friday.
[Corporal Punishment] Pastor: I gave boys 'holy spankings'
The Rev. Walter Oliver believes that God is on his side. If not, Oliver
could face up to 30 years in prison. Oliver is charged with two counts each
of assault and risk of injury to a minor for beating two child parishioners
of his former church in New Haven. Jury selection in his trial is scheduled
to begin this week. He freely admits he beat the boys, who were 11 and 12 at
the time. They were beatings in Jesus' name, he said, and carried out with
love according to the adage, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." "I call it
a 'Holy Spanking' - that's God's mandate to keep law and order," Oliver said
in an interview last week. He said he was acting with the permission of
their mother in his official capacity as the children's pastor.
[Anglican Church] Many Anglicans Won't Recognize Gay Bishop
Conservative Anglicans said Monday they will cut or loosen ties with the
U.S. diocese that has consecrated the church's first openly gay bishop.
Supporters of V. Gene Robinson said his elevation to bishop of New Hampshire
had sent a powerful message of love and tolerance.
[Anglican Church] Gay bishop divides Church
Senior members of the Anglican Church are seeking to prevent a split after
the consecration of its first openly gay bishop.
[Anglican Church] Episcopal Church in Steps Into Tense New Era
The Episcopal Church will never be quite the same after its consecration of
an openly gay bishop. The new leader, V. Gene Robinson, said as much during
his elevation. [...] The Episcopal Church is a branch of the international
Anglican Communion, which encompasses 77 million believers, and the
worldwide ramifications of the elevation were immediate.
[Anglican Church] Episcopal Church Consecrates Gay Bishop
The Episcopal Church consecrated V. Gene Robinson as bishop in a heartfelt
ceremony Sunday, making him the first openly gay man to rise to that rank in
any of the world's major Christian bodies. But while pageantry mixed with
exultation in the ritual elevating Robinson to bishop of New Hampshire, it
seems unlikely the church will hold together in its aftermath.
[Hate Groups : Scientology] Critics Leary of fire fund's Cruise plan
Is Tom Cruise taking advantage of Denis Leary to boost the Church of
Scientology? Not so, says Leary. Denis Leary is denying allegations that
he's being used by Tom Cruise to spread the word of the controversial Church
[Rastafarianism] Rastafarians praise new BVI government for revoking ban
Rastafarians in Tortola for a weeklong summit praised the new government for
revoking a law banning their entry to the British Virgin Islands. The
23-year-old "Rasta Law," removed in August, ordered immigration authorities
to refuse entry to Rastafarians and "hippies," most commonly identified by
[Hate Groups : Scientology] Neighbors Are Bothered by Rehab Center
Several complain about noise and traffic from the residential drug treatment
facility on Balboa Peninsula and about a second unit. Neighbors of an
oceanfront drug treatment center in Newport Beach are complaining to City
Hall that facility operators are violating the occupancy limit in one house
while expanding by renting another home nearby.
[Human Rights] 7 more nations agree not to hand over Americans to
The White House on Saturday announced agreements with another seven
countries to exempt American personnel from prosecution by the International
Criminal Court, which it staunchly opposes. [...] Non-governmental
organizations have complained that Washington has pushed countries into
signing the deals by saying it will withhold humanitarian aid or military
support or even by blocking NATO membership.
[Reina y Señora de Todo lo Creado] Disgraced S.A. priest joins sect in Costa
Stripped of his priestly authority by the Oblate Fathers in Texas under
accusations of sexually molesting children which the 73-year-old cleric
vehemently denies Prado now has become a fugitive from his order and the
chief celebrant for a reputedly violent doomsday cult in Costa Rica. Prado
now is an embarrassment to the Oblate Fathers in the United States and an
annoyance to church and government officials in Costa Rica. Since his
arrival in Costa Rica in January, his presence has pitted an international
child welfare organization against the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church
against the cult and the cult against just about everyone.
[Hate Groups] Neo-Nazi City Council Candidate Arrested
A member of a neo-Nazi group who is running for city council was arrested
following a confrontation in which a man allegedly was punched after saying
he was Mexican, police said. Aryan Nations member Zachary L. Beck, 24, was
arrested Friday by Kootenai County deputies on suspicion of malicious
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